Stocks Higher In Early Going

Stock prices are higher in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was in today's early going.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was ahead and the Standard-and-Poor's 500 Stock Index was up.

Stocks are moving higher as investors anticipate another rate cut from the Federal Reserve. What the central bank actually intends to do should be known tomorrow afternoon, at the conclusion of the two-day policy-setting session.

There was some encouraging news on the economy this morning,
when the Commerce Department reported that orders for big-ticket
durable goods rose 5.2 percent in December, the biggest jump in
five months.

Earnings season remains a focus of the market as well. 3M, the maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tape, reports a decline in net income but topped analyst expectations.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index shows U.S. home prices fell by a record 8.4 percent in November.

Embattled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial posted a sharp loss.

A real estate tracking company reports the number of U.S. homes that slipped into some stage of foreclosure in 2007 was up 79 percent from a year earlier.